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"Silver Sneakers" program offers free gym membership to seniors

Posted: 9:17 AM, Feb 21, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-21 11:21:04-05
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GREAT FALLS — A townhall discussion was held in Great Falls on Thursday focusing on senior health.

It was hosted by the Coalition For Medicare Choices, and one of the topics discussed is the Silver Sneakers Program, which allows eligible senior citizens to receive a free gym membership.

Silver Sneakers instructor Kimberly Woodring says this program is very important to our seniors: “We really need to be proactive in our own health. Exercise has been proven to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, lower risk of heart attacks, I mean there is just so much that comes from being physically active."

The Silver Sneakers website has more details about the program, and lists the following participating locations in Great Falls:

GREAT FALLS COMMUNITY RECREATION CENTER
PLANET FITNESS - GREAT FALLS
ACCESS FITNESS - GREAT FALLS
PEAK HEALTH & WELLNESS CENTER - GREAT FALLS
SNAP FITNESS - GREAT FALLS NW
SNAP FITNESS - GREAT FALLS 10TH AVE
MUSTANG POOL
HIGHGATE SENIOR LIVING - GREAT FALLS

The website Aging In Place provides the following overview of the program:

By enrolling in SilverSneakers, you get free access to the following:

  • More than 15,000 gym locations across the country
  • All the equipment in the gym
  • Amenities like pools and courts at the center
  • More than 70 styles of classes offered by SilverSneakers with certified instructors
  • Online resources that include diet and fitness tips

In addition to fitness, SilverSneakers prides itself on creating a social environment for elderly people. According to a a member survey, 88 percent felt they have a “better quality of life” since joining, more than 90 percent said their health was “good, very good, or excellent” at the time of the survey, and 75 percent said they’ve made friends because of the program.